Presently, the DG of FAR Ltd, in The Gambia, has resigned and is no longer in The Gambia. His name is Ben Clube. There is a crisis brewing with this petroleum deal, which is involving the Malaysian oil firm Petronas, Tony Blair’s Consultancy firm, GRA, Ministry of Justice, Finance and the mighty AB and Co.
Let me try and breakdown the chaos for you. Far Ltd sold 40 % shares of the two oil blocks they have acquired from The Gambia to Petronas during the Jammeh’s regime. Under Barrow rule, according to the new Petroleum laws, Petronas is supposed to pay capital gains tax on the 40 % share they are holding. But the company is refusing to pay. The Law firm entangled in all these is the AB and co which is also the firm that brought Tony Blair in The Gambia to advice and negotiate for President Barrow on everything relating to Oil.
FAR LTD is represented by AB and co. As we speak, there are negotiations going on between The Gambia government, Petronas and Far Ltd to solve this issue in which The Gambia is represented by the Blair Firm.
The reason why Petronas doesn’t want to pay CGT is because another company called ERIN, from Canada were exempted from paying taxes. GRA is gearing up to sell the assets of Petronas in The Gambia to recover the 5 million US Dollar Capital Gains Tax owed to them by the company.
Ministry of Finance under Mamburay Njie and the Justice Ministry are not playing ball. Tony Blair’s firm, who is The Gambia’s main company rep as far as oil is concerned. They are currently paid 3 Million USD for their services. This firm is also closely working with…
FAR LTD has two blocks out of the six oil blocks. Their contract which started in the summer will end after six months meaning around January. But November is the most important month for The Gambian oil exploration.
If FAR Ltd drill their blocks end of this month, by November FAR, they will know whether, the blocks are worthy or not. If they are containing the amounts speculated, then the real drama will start. There will be more oil companies coming to The Gambia to negotiate with the Blair firm, for the acquisition of the remaining four blocks. Which means more money for Blair Firm.
They are trying to convince GRA to sell the assets of Petronas in order to recovery the CGT, so that FAR can proceed with their drilling. I hope this all make sense to you. At the end of the day, we Gambians must start to request for transparency before it’s too late.
There is a committee involving The Ministry of Energy, Justice, Finance, Blair Firm, Far Ltd, and Co trying to settle this Petronas standstill. One has to remember the Petronas deal was signed during Jammeh before the new Petroleum laws. I will keep you posted…